The wait is officially over for YouTube Red subscribers who’ve been waiting for the premiere of Sony TV’s Karate Kid sequel series, Cobra Kai. The first two episodes are now available and serve as a delightful, high-energy invitation to explore the follow-up story that otherwise re-energizes the fanfare in a tasteful, fun fashion with actor William Zabka leading the charge this time opposite Ralph Macchio.
Parts of the show brilliantly include clips in addition to unused footage from the original film to enhance the direction of the new narrative that sees Zabka back in the role of disgraced Cobra Kai student, Johnny, now struggling to make ends meet and cope with everyday life. Chance events in the pilot ultimately lands Johnny back in view of an ultra-successful Daniel who beat him with a decidedly-illegal move during the 1984 All-Valley Karate Tournament.
The moment is nearly tormentuous for Johnny and would essentially preclude a second clash with Daniel as the two bitterly confront one another at Johnny’s opportune relaunch of the very martial arts school that shaped him to be the fighter he is. The story also delves right into the raw crux of what comprises Johnny’s world view; the way he dresses, the car he drives and the music he listens to are all predicated on nostalgia which plays handsomely into a lot of the edgy comedy that stems from his chemistry with the role of young, naive Miguel, played by Xolo Maridueña.
Cobrai Kai‘s exposition balances out just as nicely with the entry of Daniel’s worklife; the visage of a successful title owner of a car sales franchise chain and happily-married father of two children he all but hopes will continue grow up under him and not away from him. As you would expect, both of these worlds collide and a rivalry once settled long ago gets a redux with a story that casts a generational spotlight on the schools of old and new.
The only bit of action that occurs is in the first episode, but like the rest of the series, proves to be nothing short of rewarding. The scene was briefly teased in the final trailer for the show but it speaks volumes to Zabka’s own ability to carry a fight scene. The choreography is simple and all the stunts are evenly filmed with no other complexities involved, and makes for an ample appetizer to set up the main course to come.
Both episodes one and two are avialable for free for non-users with the eight remaining within the exclusive network. Sign up and enjoy!